The Jeep Wrangler has its roots in the World War II jeep and the modern Jeep is built both for rugged off-road use as well as a family road vehicle.
But can it tow?
Yes. The unmodified Jeep Wrangler can tow between 2,000lb and 3,500lb. However the full answer is more complicated and dependent on your exact model and you should consider a number of other factors that we will discuss below.
What total trailer weight can a Jeep Wrangler tow?
There are essentially three standard engines for the Jeep Wrangler.
- 3.0L Diesel
Whether your model is two-door or four-door has an impact on towing rating as well as the engine. Perhaps surprisingly the 2.0L and 3.6L have the same tow rating, but the four-door has a much better tow rating than the two-door model.
Table of tow ratings
|Engine / Transmission||Model||Maximum gross Trailer Weight|
|3.0L Diesel||Four-Door||3,500 lb|
The above weights provide the theoretical gross trailer weight that can be towed by your Jeep Wrangler. The gross trailer weight is the dry weight of the trailer plus the weight of the trailer’s cargo.
However theory and practice are not always the same! So let’s get into some more details.
Suppose you have calculated your gross trailer weight as 2,500 lb. This is the dry weight of the empty trailer plus all the cargo, any water, waste, propane and batteries. If you have a four-door model then you may be able to tow this trailer. However you need to check all the details in the remainder of this article before confirming.
If you have the two-door model then it is not safe to tow this trailer. It exceeds the maximum gross tow rating of the vehicle.
Gross vehicle weight rating of the Jeep Wrangler
We will come back to the trailer shortly. However one key check you need to make is that the weight of the Jeep’s cargo does not exceed the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).
When you’re towing you don’t have an empty Jeep. You need to consider the weights of the;
- A tank of gas and other vehicle fluids,
- Other passengers,
- Specific vehicle options,
- Any stuff that you might have in the vehicle.
None of this is in the trailer but it’s important to note that it does count towards the GVWR.
The GVWR of a four-door Jeep is 5,400 lb and for the two-door model it is 5,000 lb.
How to check your Jeep is not overloaded
You need to either weigh your fully laden Jeep on a CAT scale or estimate the total weight.
To estimate the laden weight you need the weight of the empty vehicle from the manufacturer (curb weight) plus an estimate the weight of the people and cargo. In addition your will have some weight from your trailer through the tongue weight (more on this below). You can assume that the tongue weight is between 10% -15% of the gross trailer weight.
What is the curb weight of a Jeep Wrangler?
An empty Jeep is measured by the manufacturer as the curb weight.
The US EPA defines the curb weight as the weight of the vehicle with standard equipment and fluids, but not including options, driver, passengers or cargo. Your vehicle will have different options and will have a driver, passengers and cargo. So what do you do?
The best place to find the weight of your vehicle is to look on the sticker on the driver’s door jamb. If that fails then assume a curb weight of 4,167 lb for the four-door model and 3,948 lb for the two-door model.
You can then use our calculator with the curb weight and add the weight of passengers and cargo plus the weight of your trailer to ensure it is within the GVWR shown above.
Are we done?
Not quite! We now need to check the combined weight of the Jeep and the trailer.
Gross combined vehicle weight
There are a few constraints to consider when towing a trailer. First you need to establish whether your trailer and its contents are within limits.
What is the gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of the Jeep Wrangler?
The GCWR is the total allowable weight of the empty Jeep, its cargo and the weight of the trailer. It’s the weight of the whole kit and caboodle.
The following table details the GCWR of the Jeep Wrangler.
Table of gross combined weight ratings for the Jeep Wrangler
|Engine / Transmission||Model||Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)|
|3.0L Diesel||Four-Door||8,427 lb|
Suppose you have calculated your gross trailer weight as 2,500 lb and you have a four-door 3.6L Jeep with passengers, gas, driver, luggage weight of 1,200 lb. The curb weight of the vehicle given above is 4,167lb. That is a gross combined weight of 7,867 lb.
This is within the vehicle’s GCWR of 8,117 lb. However it is very close to the limit and within 10% of the limit. You will have to consider whether this is a little tight for comfort.
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What is the maximum tongue weight of a Jeep Wrangler?
When you are towing a trailer the weight of that trailer gets transmitted down through two places – the axle and wheels of the trailer and the hitch between the trailer and your Jeep.
You need to ensure that there is not too much weight being transmitted through the hitch. The following table gives the maximum allowable tongue weight.
|Engine / Transmission||Model||Tongue Weight|
|3.0L Diesel||Four-Door||350 lb|
How should I measure trailer tongue weight on the Jeep Wrangler?
You have three options to measure the tongue weight from your trailer.
- Use a specialized tongue weight scale such as a Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scale
- Weigh your vehicle and trailer on a CAT scale
- Estimate the tongue weight
Option 1 is best, followed by 2. However let’s look at option 3.
Your trailer’s manufacturer will usually provide an indication of the tongue weight. For a travel trailer with batteries and propane you may need to add that weight if the manufacturer has not included it. In addition you need to add the weight of the hitch. Note that this is an estimate since not all the weight of these objects will be transmitted through the hitch, so adding 100% of the weight to your tongue weight will over-estimate it. Also some of the weight of the trailer cargo will get transmitted through the hitch.
Tongue weight rule of thumb
It’s recommended that the tongue weight is between 10%-15% of the gross trailer weight (dry weight plus the weight of the cargo). If the tongue weight is below 10% then that will cause towing instability and the trailer may porpoise, and if the tongue weight is too high then the trailer will be pitched forward and put too much load on the hitch. You want a level trailer and ideally the tongue load will be 12% of the gross trailer weight.
So one check you need to do is to take the gross trailer weight you calculated above and check that 10%-15% is within the maximum tongue weight given in the table above.
Suppose you have calculated your gross trailer weight as 2,500 lb. The ideal tongue load is between 10% and 15% of this amount. That would be between 150 lb – 375 lb. If you own a four-door Jeep Wrangler then the tongue load cannot exceed 350 lb and so you will likely be within limits as long as you don’t have a very heavy hitch, or you don’t have all your trailer cargo in the very front of the trailer.
However, if you have the two-door model your tongue load is only 200 lb. This trailer is too much for your vehicle.
Adjusting tongue weight
You have two main methods to adjust tongue weight;
- Either add or remove load from the trailer. Adding weight to the trailer will increase the tongue weight, and removing weight will reduce the tongue weight.
- Moving weight around the trailer. You can increase tongue weight by moving existing load to the front of the trailer. Similarly, you can reduce tongue weight by moving existing load to the rear of the trailer.
However, you do not want your trailer very unbalanced, and you want a level trailer while towing.
Check the rear axle weight rating
The rear axle weight rating is similar to the tongue weight. All vehicles have a weight limit that they can take on the rear and front axles. Usually the best place to find this information is on the driver’s door jamb sticker. The best way to check you are not exceeding this amount is to weigh your trailer and towing vehicle at a CAT scale.
Or you can just weigh your fully-laden Jeep and make an allowance for trailer weight that is transmitted to the rear axle – namely the tongue weight.
However, if you’re within the tongue weight guidance, then in all likelihood your rear axle will be within limit but it’s very dependent on the load you are carrying in your Jeep.
What is the maximum trailer frontal area?
If your trailer and Jeep have passed all the previous tests then you are probably good-to-go. However the manufacturer does give a restriction on the trailer frontal area. This is area of the front of the trailer that creates drag. You can have a very light trailer that is within the weight restrictions described above, but if it’s a huge sail that blocks airflow then it’s a no-no.
Trailers with a more aerodynamic profile, such as a teardrop, are clearly better in this respect. So for completeness let’s summarize the maximum frontal area measured in square feet.
|Engine / Transmission||Model||Max. Frontal Area|
|3.0L Diesel||Four-Door||30 ft2|
Putting it all together!
Have you been following everything upto now?
There are a number of checks you need to make to ensure that you have a safe towing experience with your Jeep Wrangler.
- Check that the gross trailer weight is within the tow rating of the Jeep
- Check that the jeep is not overloaded and the gross weight of the jeep plus the tongue weight does not exceed the GVWR
- Check that the combined weight of the towing vehicle and the trailer does not exceed the GCWR
- Check that the tongue weight is between 10% -15% of the gross trailer weight
In theory you also need to check the rear-axle load, front-axle load and trailer frontal area. However if you have passed all the above tests and are within 10% on all of them then you are probably fine.
I’m confused and I have questions!
There is a lot to keep straight here.
However we have now provided you with all the information on the Jeep Wrangler to enable you to input all the key data into our towing calculator. This is the easiest way to check that you have completed all the steps.
Our tool is simple but comprehensive. You won’t miss anything is you follow all the steps, but drop us a note if you are struggling! Stay safe!
What can a Jeep Wrangler tow?
Given the above numbers, you might be asking – What kind of trailers can a Jeep Wrangler tow? Let’s dig into it now!
As we saw above the maximum tow rating for a four-door Jeep Wrangler was 3,500 lb and for the two-door it was 2,000 lb. This actually corresponds with a Class II Medium Duty hitch for the four-door and a Class I Light Duty hitch for the two-door. The following table summarizes the trailer hitch definitions.
It’s worth saying that both the Class I and Class II hitches have the same receiver dimensions of 1.25″ x 1.25″. However Class II trailers will not fit with a Class I hitch as a Class I hitch has a stopper mechanism to prevent this. But a Class I trailer will fit into a Class I hitch.
|Class||Maximum Trailer Weight|
|Class I - Light Duty||2,000 lb|
|Class II - Medium Duty||3,500 lb|
|Class III - Heavy Duty||6,000 lb|
|Class IV - Extra Heavy Duty||10,000 lb|
So with the Jeep Wrangler you are really restricted to Class I and Class II trailers, depending on your Jeep model.
Class I Hitch Examples
- Bikes on a rack
- Small luggage trailers
Class II Hitch Examples
- Bikes on a rack
- Small luggage trailers
- Small pop-up campers
- Small boats
- Some tear drop camper trailers
Frequently asked questions
Can a Jeep Wrangler tow 5,000 lb? No. The maximum is 3,500 lb
Can a Jeep Wrangler tow 6,000 lb? No. The maximum is 3,500 lb
Can a 2-door Jeep Wrangler pull a trailer? Yes, it has a 2,000 lb limit
Can a 4-door Jeep Wrangler pull a trailer? Yes, it has a 3,500 lb limit
How much can a Jeep Wrangler diesel tow? It has a 3,500 lb limit
Are Jeep Wranglers good for towing? That really depends what you want to tow! For a Class I or Class II trailer it would work. But not for a Class III or above.
How much can a Ford F-150 tow? Wrong article! You want to read this article.
For your model of Jeep Wrangler use the above information above to find the towing rating, GVWR, curb weight and GCWR. Write this data down then visit our towing calculator main page to put it all together!
If you have remaining questions please contact us.
Please refer to the disclaimer for important notes and limitations on this article